A Relatively Healthy Balance

I think I did an OK job this weekend of getting schoolwork done, but also feeding the art brain. There are only so many hours in the day, and stupid things like grocery shopping and laundry have to get done, but the remaining hours, they don’t all have to be about your job. I negotiated in my head…if I grade for the length of this TV show, then I will be able to work on art afterwards. That was Sunday. Saturday? Saturday I tried to grade, but got pissed off by some kid trying to cheat his way into a passing grade (because I’m an idiot and won’t catch him?), so I just stopped. I piled all the school stuff up, dumped my grading pens on top  of it, and walked the fuck away from it. Because when you get to the point that you’re angry about it, it doesn’t help anyone to be grading kids’ papers. And yeah, I’ll get a bunch of kids FREAKING out this morning because I didn’t update their grade (because they handed everything in late?), but I will just fix my laser glare upon them and they will instantly stop their whining.

Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

So I made art. And it looks like I did a lot, but really, it was only about 4 1/2 hours over the whole weekend (that’s not really a lot for me).

I pinbasted the upholstered woman (wait, that’s a better title than what I’ve been using so far)…

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And then I panicked about actually quilting it. I bought some heavier thread for it, because I thought my regular quilting thread would sink into the upholstery too much, but I was worried about how my machine would handle it…so logically, I turned to something I knew I could do…the cancer hands. I outlined them first…

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Which was a piece of cake and took very little time, despite those psychotic, spiky little breast cancer cells…

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And then I was lucky to have a thread that worked with the background…seriously, I don’t have much of a thread stash…so I started doing the backgrounds as well.

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And before I knew it, they were both done and it was time to head off for my daughter’s CIF soccer game…

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They were first in their division, so they didn’t have to play earlier this week. Saturday they played in the quarterfinals…it was a tense game. I stitched a lot. I can’t show you any of it though because we’re not allowed to, which I find kind of irritating, but whatever. I do want designers to make money off their work, but we live in America, Land of We Think Everything Is Free for the Taking, so designers have to protect themselves. And then we’re back to the kid who was cheating in my class, the kid I have to deal with today, the kid who is going to deny it all.

ANYWAY. I stitched. They tied at the end, and you can’t tie, so they went into 15 minutes of overtime…all the while, it was supposed to rain on us, but it held off…

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And with 3 minutes and 20 seconds to go, we scored the winning goal. Pro: we’re going to the semifinals! Con: we’re going to the semifinals! More soccer. More cold bleachers. More tense game-watching (more stitching?). It started raining as soon as I got in the car (thank you for that reprieve).

Sunday, I finally took a deep breath (after grading for a proscribed amount of time) and threaded my machine with the heavy thread and went for it…and at first thought it was going to be a giant clusterfuck…

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The thread required many prayers to the Goddess of Unbroken Thread, although there are some interesting nests on the back of this quilt. I cleaned them up the best I could…I managed to get all the way around this beast before going to the parentals to cook dinner (girlchild was sick). Then I came back and miraculously had the right color of thread for the background…

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which was way easier to quilt, a relief honestly. No super-slow stitching to persuade the machine to go through many layers of upholstery, no swearing as the thread shredded in the needle. Here’s the back…

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I didn’t finish all the background quilting, because I remembered that going to sleep on a Sunday night at a reasonable hour makes the rest of the week easier to get through. I usually forget this by Wednesday or Thursday night, unfortunately.

So I’m hoping to trim and bind the two hands, plus finish quilting this one as well this week. I’ve also got a pile of Wonder Under to cut out (and grades for Trimester 2 to finish, but I almost have that under control). Perhaps I should thank that cheating kid for throwing my brain under the bus and forcing me to make art instead of finishing the grading. It all turned out OK, right? As long as I can stay on top of the rest of the grades this week…thanks to my teacher’s aide and my refusal to take any more makeup work, I should be fine.

My constant goal of a healthy balance between all the parts of my life…the art brain always wants more than it gets. I don’t blame it…it certainly is the first to suffer when there’s an issue like illness. But I feel pretty good about what I got done this weekend, so I think I’ll just hold on to that feeling for a while…until I need to motivate myself past the next big step.

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